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Create Threads

This article is archived and is no longer updated. Go to the latest information on creating threads.

In a discussion board forum, you can start new threads to begin a conversation. A thread includes the initial post and all replies to it. When you create a forum, you can allow or not allow members to start threads. Generally, the purpose of the forum dictates whether members can start threads. A moderated, graded forum used to evaluate student performance is usually tightly controlled, and members cannot create threads. Other forums are designed for members to share opinions and thoughts on tangential or unrelated topics. In this case, you might allow members to create threads and spark discussions.

To help organize your view, you can change the status of existing threads and determine which threads appear in a forum.

Instructors and students create threads in the same way. If you enabled grading, you can also set the thread to be graded.

You create a forum that addresses a broad subject, such as "Addicted to Oil." Next, you create two threads containing the specific issues to be discussed, such as replacing oil usage with nuclear power, and the pros and cons of conservation. To ensure students post only to existing threads, consider disallowing thread creation in the forum settings.

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You create a forum and ask a question or provide the instructions or details in the description, such as "How can we reduce our reliance on oil?" Then, students create threads for each solution to the problem of oil addiction. All members post to existing threads to comment on given answers or create new threads to present new solutions. In the forum settings, be sure you select the Allow Members to Create New Threads option.

If you enable thread grading, members cannot create new threads.

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How to Create Threads

In the following example, you create a graded thread.

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  1. Access a discussion board forum.
  2. On the action bar, click Create Thread. Forum descriptions display when users create a thread and when they encounter a thread with the post first setting. Forum descriptions are often used as prompts for discussion, so they are now visible where users are posting.
  3. On the Create Thread page, type a subject, and instructions, a description, or a question.
  4. Alternatively, in the Attachments section, attach a file. Click Browse My Computer to upload a file from your computer. You can also upload a file from the course's storage repository:
    • If Course Files is the course's storage repository, click Browse Course.


    • If your institution licenses content management, click Browse Content Collection.

      Files uploaded by students are not saved to Course Files or the Content Collection.

  5. If you chose to grade threads when you created the forum, you decide on a thread-by-thread basis whether to grade a thread. In the Grading section, select the check box for Grade Thread and type Points possible. Select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and select the number of posts from the drop-down list. Applying this setting displays the needs grading icon in the Grade Center and places the posts in the queue on the Needs Grading page after users make the specified number of posts. If you select a grading option and do NOT select the check box, the needs grading icon does not appear in the Grade Center and posts do not appear on the Needs Grading page.

    If you choose three posts from the drop-down list and a user submits two, the in progress icon appears in the Grade Center cell and the discussion board until the specified number of posts is met. You can also associate a rubric to use for grading by pointing to Add Rubric.

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  6. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to create the thread.

The newly created thread appears in the forum.

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If you enabled thread grading, two functions appear in the Grade column:

  1. Click Grade Thread to evaluate the posts.
  2. Click Grade to enable grading for a thread and assign a value.

How to Change a Thread's Status

You can change the status of a thread to keep students focused on relevant discussions and to help organize a forum containing many threads. When a user creates and submits a thread, it is assigned the Published status.

The following table describes which thread status to select to accomplish various objectives.

Thread Status in the Discussion Board
Status Goal for Thread
Publish Make a thread available to all users.
Hide Hide a thread from immediate view, but still allow users the option of reading the thread. Unneeded content is hidden from view, helping users find relevant content. Users cannot reply to or edit hidden threads even if editing is enabled for the thread.

Users can view hidden threads using the Display drop-down list on the action bar.

When you do not want the thread hidden, change the status to Publish.

Make Unavailable Hide a thread from view of all users except forum managers.
Lock Allow users to read a thread, but not edit or add to it. Locking a thread allows you to assign grades without users updating or changing posts.
Unlock Unlock a locked thread to select another status.

Use the following steps to change the status of a thread or multiple threads at one time.

Alternatively, access a thread's contextual menu and select a thread status.

  1. Access a forum and change to List View, if needed.
  2. Select the check box next to each thread requiring a change of status. You can select multiple threads or select the check box in the header to select all threads.
  3. From the Thread Actions drop-down list, select a new status for the selected thread or threads.

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    The status for each thread appears in the Status column. If you save a draft of a thread to edit in the future, Draft appears in the Status column. To access your drafts, you must select Show All or Drafts Only from the Display drop-down list on the action bar.

How to Change Which Threads Appear

If you have many threads in a forum and assign different statuses to the threads, you can choose which threads appear in a forum. For example, if you start several threads and save them as drafts, you can choose to show only those drafts and select the threads to edit and publish.

  1. Access the forum and change to List View, if needed.
  2. On the action bar, point to Display and click the type of threads to view in the forum.

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    The forum page displays only those threads that have the status selected from the Display drop-down list.

Save a Post as a Draft to Submit Later

The Save Draft function is available if you need to return to your post at a later time. This function saves your comments and files on the page.

To access your post later, return to the forum page. Point to Display on the action bar and click Drafts Only to view the saved post. While viewing your post, point to it to view the functions for Edit and Delete. When you click Edit, the content editor opens.

After making your updates, click Submit to publish the post.

To Learn More

To learn more about Needs Grading, see About the Needs Grading Page.

To learn more about Rubrics, see Rubrics.